Separation City review

  • Breaking
  • 01/08/2009

Reviewed by Kate Rodger

The filmmakers describe this film as a "bittersweet comedy drama", and allow me to brazenly plunder that description, as it sums it up just nicely.

Separation City has been over 20 years in the making, percolating in the fevered mind of Wellington writer Tom Scott, and now ready to serve up to audiences across the nation and beyond. The producers toyed with the idea of changing the name of this film to The Truth about Men, and there’s no mistaking these interwoven relationship stories are anchored firmly in the male camp!

The cast is a mix of local and international, and all excellent. Our lead is Australian actor Joel Edgerton (Kinky Boots), who plays Simon. Simon is married to Pam (Danielle Cormack), they have a couple of rowdy kiwi kids, and they’re cast adrift, floating aimlessly about in the marriage doldrums, wondering where all the great sex went. Their merry band of friends, most in varying states of domestic unease, surround them, and life trucks along.

Things erupt when Simon becomes infatuated with a new member of the group, a very glamorous cellist called Katrien (the well-cast Rhona Mitra). Cue all sorts of masculine mayhem, the need for a "men’s group", some hilarious fisticuffs, some unfortunate sexual encounters, and ultimately, a rather moving and very genuine portrayal of how relationships can go so terribly wrong.

The support cast here is key, and each character is nicely drawn and easily accessed. Class kiwis Jodie Rimmer and Grant Roa step up, and Underbelly star Les Hill steals almost every scene he’s in as Simon’s closest mate Harry. German actor Thomas Kretschmann (King Kong) plays Katrien’s unfaithful husband Klaus with convincing artistic flair.

There were a couple of lines of dialogue which betrayed the screenplay’s 80’s roots, and they jarred a little for me, but I feel like I’m nitpicking really! Separation City was a generous, healthy serving of much hilarity, and certainly worth the ticket price.

A date movie for the grown-ups? Maybe.

A chance for women to see inside a man’s head? Possibly.

An opportunity for the blokes to head to the movies instead of the pub? Definitely.

Four stars.
    Separation City
:: Director: Paul Middleditch
:: Starring: Rhona Mitra, Joel Edgerton, Danielle Cormack
:: Running Time: 107 mins
:: Rating: M - contains sex scenes and offensive language
:: Release Date: August 06, 2009

source: newshub archive